Those are the exact miles I have hiked in the past 5.5 months. What started as another harebrained idea of mine, has ended up changing my life. I was a sad and broken soul, desperate for change. My purpose was lost, and I needed to find it.
What I found was something much, much greater.
Over the past 6 months I have progressed from a lazy, unmotivated mess to someone who finally realizes she is not a mistake. Suddenly life was fun again. There was something I loved doing and I was actually passionate about it. Everything seemed to fit together.
As I begin to look back , I don’t even recognize the girl who started this journey 6 months ago.
Everything about her has changed…..her body, her mind, and her heart. She went from being totally lost to completely found in just a matter of weeks. No longer does she sit alone at night wondering…. “When is my life going to start to happen?” Nope… now she is out the door, shouting as she goes, “Come on life… try to catch up!” Gone are the days of sitting on the couch like a slug with barley enough energy to get up to the rest room. Now it is difficult for her to sit still for longer then 20 minutes…. there is too much to see and do.
She began the journey alone. There were friends who were supportive, but this was not their journey. But along the way she met kindred spirits who ARE on the same journey. And they quickly became a support for one another. Each face, smile, laugh, hard climb, injury, sickness, mountain summit, and Cliff Bar they have experienced together have forever changed her.
There were some mornings that she was over it. Getting up at 3:30 just wasn’t fun anymore. Putting on nasty smelly shoes and strapping on a weighted down pack, was starting to seem redundant. But she would get up anyway. She would put on her nasty shoes and head out while the rest of the world was still sleeping. As she would drive up the mountain to some remote trailhead, often the sun was still asleep too!
Something would happen to her as she made the drive week after week, morning after morning. She would start to get goose bumps, and her heart began to flutter. She knew that at the end of the day, she would come out of the trees changed….better then when she started.
What was it that kept her going? What motivated her to Slog along each and every mile? How was it that finally after 41 years, the face looking back at me in the mirror was at peace and happy with herself?
Maybe it can be summed up by this phrase…She needed to stick around. On a cold, and snowy evening back in February, she read a verse that forever changed her way of thinking.
For a long time she had depended on her own abilities to get her places. Each time though she was met with disappointment and failure. Sometimes she got lucky, but most of the times she just gave up. Reading these words in Micah 7 was like an Ah Ha moment. It finally made sense….. she was always leaving before the work was finished! No wonder nothing ever worked out….she was leaving before the big finale!
Was it easy? NEVER.
Did she want to quit? Each and EVERY weekend.
Was it worth it? ABSOLUTLY!!!!!!!
While the old me was still fun, adorable, and totally awesome, she was also weak, lost, and extremely lazy. She focused on herself and her own abilities. When things got hard and she began to feel pain, she just quit. Who wants to deal with that???
But let me tell you friend, anything worth accomplishing and overcoming is going to bring you difficulty and pain. There may be some BIG obstacles in your way that you have to get over and around.
But you can do it. One foot in front of the other….knowing that it is not your strength, but the strength of the One greater then you. You just keep moving…. Don’t sit down. That will just make you think and worry even more. Keep moving….Right foot. Left foot. Right foot. Left foot………
And somewhere along the way you are finally going to see a sneak of what is in store for you and it is going to excite you.
But even then… DON’T STOP! There is something MUCH more spectacular on up ahead. You just need to continue working and Slogging through. Right foot, left foot. Right foot, Left foot…….
And then just when you think you can’t go any further…..the path opens up and the trees become less dense. You’re almost there….
Finally, after you think you can’t give anymore….you are there….The Top……
And it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!
Life is hard, but it is also a total blast when you throw away your worries, your doubts and your fears. I realized, doing it on my own was impossible, but when I stood back and let God guide me…..awesome things began to happen. Always remember….the pain you are feeling, is NOTHING compared to the JOY that is coming! (Romans 8:18)
6 months ago, I thought I was a weakling who couldn’t complete anything. I was quick to quit before anything could happen. But now I know there is a fierce warrior inside me, and I have learned to NEVER leave before my reward! Nope…from now on I’m sticking around till the end!